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Mushroom-Orzo Pilaf

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As in risotto or rice pilaf, the orzo here gets toasted in oil first to give the dish added flavor.

  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 1/4 pounds mixed wild mushrooms
  3. 3 small leeks, thinly sliced crosswise
  4. 2 ounces prosciutto, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  5. 1 1/2 cups orzo or other small pasta, such as tubettini, ditalini or acine di pepe
  6. 3 1/2 cups water
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the mushrooms and leeks and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the prosciutto to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the prosciutto is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for 3 minutes longer. Stir in the mushrooms and leeks.
  3. Add the water to the skillet, season the pasta with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the pasta is al dente and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cheese and serve.


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